If the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists!


So, Christmas has come and gone. I am still recovering from the two (TWO) Christmas dinners and drinking far too much coffee for it to be strictly healthy.


It’s been an okay year. Financially a very hard one, but we’ve struggled through it with some help from our families and a canny eye on buying veg from the markets. There have been ups and downs, as there always are, but on balance I think the ups count for more.

I’ve made more friends online and in real life, meeting more and more awesome people through primarily Twitter and – when I could afford it – conventions. I feel ridiculously lucky in that respect as I’ve had enough online friendships go sour over the years (damn you, World of Warcraft) and while I can attribute it partially to a shift in how I present myself online, it’s also largely due to the very open, forgiving, and good-humoured people I meet.

I haven’t read nearly as many books as I want to, but that never changes. I could read all day every day and never catch up, it seems.

Health-wise, things are pretty good. Last year was awful for hospital trips and constant vigilance over my blood results, so it’s been nice to get that onto an even keel. I am so unfit, though, and I need to get on that in the New Year.

Writing is going well. I got my first short story in print, with three more coming in 2013 – the last of which is possibly the most personal and difficult thing I’ve written. I wrote the first novel in a epic fantasy series which is currently out on submission because I think any more edits will just be second-guessing myself at this point. I wrote the first draft of an alt-history adventure that started humble and got progressively more insane.

Next year I will be editing a collection of recipes (all desserts) and short stories for Fox Spirit books, which I am both dreading and looking forward to. It’s a lot of responsibility so I’m pretty desperate to get it right. I’m sure Adele will keep me on the straight and narrow.

I’m also planning to write another two novels in 2013. I was tempted to start a whole new Fantasy world, but I can’t leave the other one unfinished. I’ll crack on with the second volume and see how it goes. The other novel is kind of linked to Gunslinger Symphony but isn’t. It’s another alt-history novel, set in roughly the same time period, but with a different fantastical twist driving the narrative: this time about pocket watches, and a fashionable obsession with the dead. The idea is to create a trio of stories that link thematically but are not set in the same versions of the world.

And that’s my plan. Not quite a resolution, but better than nothing.

What have you got planned for next year?

The De’il has business on his hand.


And so towards November. Halloween is soon upon us, during which I will undoubtedly buy far too many sweeties and end up having to scoff the lot myself. Last year we had a little girl dressed as a fairy/princess/blancmange knock on the door who took a single tiny roll of parma violets and clutched it to her chest as though it was made of gold. So very cute, but she could’ve given us a little help and taken two.

There’s still space on the roster for a short story during Halloween Shorts too, if anyone’s interested. I’m putting together my story at the moment and I’m not sure if it’ll be spooky enough…but I’ve picked now, so I’ll be damned if I’m changing my mind. Damned, I say!

Also, NaNoWriMo approaches. I wasn’t sure about doing it this year but I do have a novel to finish and if I call what I’ve done “Part 1” and what I’d get done in November “Part 2” it’s almost as if I’m not gaming the system at all. Tarantino would be so proud, and by “proud” I mean, “confused as to why people are asking him about a Scottish guy he’s never met.”

Anyway. This means that I will be on course for my personal target of writing two novels (in draft form, at least) by the end of the year, which is great because I wrote that target down in the front of my notebook and it’d be a kick in the junk not to be able to tick it off. I haven’t quite managed as many short stories as I wanted, but the ones I have done have had an effect, in that they will be read by people other than my girlfriend and my brother.

At some point towards the end of November I’m going to have to pick what I’m going to do in 2013. Ultimately, the plan is to keep writing things that amaze and amuse me in the hope that eventually they’ll be capable of amazing and amusing others. Hopefully, the projects I pick will be another step towards that goal.